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posted: 2/16/2013 4:20 AM

Reupholstery extends the life of quality furniture

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  • Craig Goldstein started his reupholstery business about 25 years ago.

    Craig Goldstein started his reupholstery business about 25 years ago.
    Photos Courtesy of Ultimate Reupholstery

  • Goldstein reupholstered this patio set.

    Goldstein reupholstered this patio set.

  • Furniture that was made 10 or more years ago probably has a quality frame and can be reupholstered.

    Furniture that was made 10 or more years ago probably has a quality frame and can be reupholstered.

By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

Craig Goldstein has a passion for using his artistic talents to take something old and make it beautiful again. Goldstein, the owner of Ultimate Reupholstery in Long Grove, learned the upholstery trade from his father who once had a reupholstery and retail furniture shop in Chicago.

Goldstein founded his own reupholstery business in the suburbs 25 years ago after working in retail furniture sales for several years and finding that he preferred the creative side of the industry.

"Some of my customers tell me they want to save a piece of furniture from the landfill. Why throw it away when they can make it like new?" Goldstein said.

"Others bring in family heirlooms that they have personal and sentimental feelings about and don't want to lose.

"All of them realize the quality of furniture made in the past few years has decreased, unless you spend lots of money. So they prefer to keep the older, quality pieces they have and refinish or reupholster them. They are people who understand and appreciate quality furniture and already know that this piece is comfortable and fits in their home," Goldstein said.

If you have a piece of furniture that is ten years old or older, it is probably of better quality than items being manufactured today, and Goldstein believes it is worth saving. He even has someone in his employ that refinishes wood furniture like tables, cabinets and chair legs.

Goldstein makes house calls to see furniture in its natural setting so that he can better assist homeowners in selecting new fabric and stain.

"Colors can change in different environments," he said.

He then transports the piece to his shop and returns it approximately four weeks later.

"I have thousands of upholstery-grade fabrics for people to choose from, including blends, low pile chenille, leather and vinyl. Most of the people I deal with are more traditional in their tastes, so they are currently choosing solids or mini-prints mainly. Large prints are out," Goldstein said.

Organic colors are most popular -- mushroom, taupe and sage, in particular.

As far as design elements go, extensive tufting is not currently popular, he explained, but decorative nail trim is back in vogue.

Goldstein and his five experienced employees are kept busy reupholstering couches, love seats, chairs, dining room chairs, custom headboards and window cornices, as well as refinishing wood pieces.

"If a piece of furniture has a high-quality hardwood frame, we say that it has 'good bones' and is worth reupholstering. When we get a piece we carefully inspect its springs and padding to see what needs to be replaced and then give an estimate of cost. Depending on the piece, sometimes we just replace the fabric. Other times, we need to replace everything except the frame," Goldstein said.

To make an appointment for an Ultimate Reupholstery house visit, call (847) 634-8221. For more information, visit

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